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Plant Collections - What's in Bloom?

You will always find something in bloom in Highland Park, at all times of the year. Seasonal fluctuations in the weather may vary the blooming schedule, but the following is an approximate guide to some of the most popular "bloomers":

  • February and March:
    • Witchhazels - south of the Overlook
  • Mid-April:
    • Forsythias and daffodils - south of the Overlook
  • Early April:
    • Magnolias - southwest of the Reservoir
  • Early May:
    • Flowering pears - along South Goodman between Highland
      and Elmwood
    • Tulips - corner of South Avenue and Reservoir Drive
  • Mid May:
    • Crabapples - along South Goodman between Highland
      and Elmwood
    • Flowering Dogwood - south of the Overlook
  • Late May:
    • Azaleas - southeast of the Overlook
    • Horse chestnuts - west of the Reservoir
    • Lilacs - along Highland Avenue
    • Pansy Bed - on Highland Avenue
    • Spirea - southeast of the Reservoir
    • Tree peonies - west of the horse chestnuts
    • Wisteria - southeast of the Reservoir
  • Early June:
    • Rhododendron - southeast of the Overlook
    • Iris - near the magnolias
  • Mid June:
    • Mock oranges - southeast of the Reservoir
    • Weigelas
  • July:
    • Hydrangeas - southeast of the Reservoir
  • August:
    • Annual bedding plants and Shrub Althea
  • October:
    • Witchhazels - south of the Overlook

The Pinetum is north of Pinetum Drive. It contains 300 species and varieties of conifers from all over the world. It is a favorite photogenic walk during winter, when the trees and shrubs are covered with snow.

Entrance to the Poets' Garden
Entrance to Poet's Garden
Photo courtesy of Barbara Veomett

The Lamberton Conservatory is open year-round. In addition to its tropical forest display, desert plants, economic plants and house plants, the Conservatory features seasonal floral displays. The exhibits are changed 5 times throughout the year, so that there is always something new to be seen. The Conservatory is open daily from 10-4 p.m. Admission fees are $3.00 for adults, and $2.00 for youth (6-18) and seniors (62 and over). There is no fee for children ages 0 to 5 years. Seasonal passes are available for $10 individual, $30 family, and $50 companies
and institutions.

The Poets' or Woodland Garden is a very special corner of the Park, west of the horse chestnut collection. It is especially beautiful in the early spring, with its bulbs and wildflowers.

Following is a list of the plants found in the Garden during 2009:

Trees:

  • Acer ginnala - Amur Maple
  • Acer saccharum - Sugar Maple
  • Acer tegmentasum - Manchurian Striped Maple
  • Aesculus - Buckeye/Horse Chestnut
  • Amelanchier aborea - Shad/Serviceberry - blooms in April
  • Celtis occidentalis - Eastern Hackberry
  • Cercis canadensis - Redbud - blooms in May
  • Cornus kousa - Korean Dogwood - blooms in June
  • Cornus florida - Flowering Dogwood - blooms in May
  • Cornus mas - Cornelian Cherry - blooms in April
  • Cornus Rutgers - Stella Pink Dogwood - blooms in May
  • Chionanthus virginicus - Fringetree - blooms in June
  • Parrotia persica - Persian Ironwood
  • Platanus acerifolia - London Plane Tree
  • Prunus okame - Okame Cherry - blooms in April/ May
  • Prunus serotina - Black Cherry
  • Pterocarya fraxinifolia - Caucasian Wingnut
  • Quercus alba - White Oak
  • Quercus coccinea - Scarlet Oak
  • Quercus rubra - Red Oak
  • Quercus velutina - Black Oak
  • Sorbus wilsoniana - Wilsons Mountain Ash
  • Styrax obassia - Fragrant Snowbell
  • Staphylea trifolia - American Bladderwort
  • Tsuga canadensis - Summer Show Hemlock

Shrubs:

  • Amelanchier - Shad - blooms in April
  • Azalea multiflora - Pinkster - blooms in May
  • Barberry
  • Corylopsis - Winter Hazel
  • Ilex - Holly
  • Kalmia latifolia - Mountain Laurel - blooms in June
  • Leucothoe
  • Lace Cap Hydrangea - blooms in July
  • Philadelphus - Mock Orange - blooms in June
  • Prunus laurocerasus - Cherry Laurel - blooms in May
  • Symphoricarpos albus - Common Snowberry
  • Rhododendron blooms in May
  • Rhodotypos - Jetbead - blooms in May
  • Rose - Meidiland - White blooms in June
  • Symphoricarpos albus - Common Snowberry
  • Taxus - Yew
  • Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum - Doublefile Viburnum - blooms in June

Flowers (by time of first bloom):

Kousa Dogwood
Kousa Dogwood
Photo courtesy of Barbara Veomett
April
  • Helleborus foetidus - Stinking Hellobore
  • Helleborus niger - Christmas Rose
  • Galanthos - Snow Drops
  • Chionodoxa - Glory of
    the Snow
  • Scilla sibericus - Squill
  • Crocus
  • Primula - cowslip
  • Vinca minor - Periwinkle
  • Sanguinaria canadensis - Bloodroot
  • Narcissus - Poets'
  • Anemone blanda - Windflower
  • Hepatica acutiloba
  • Podophyllum peltatum - May Apple
  • Brunnera
  • Epimedium - Bishop's Hat
  • Helleborus orientalis - Lenten Rose
  • Trillium grandiflorum
  • Mertensia virginicus - Virginia Bluebell
  • Asarum europium - European Ginger
  • Arisaema triphyllum - Jack in the Pulpit
  • Lathyrus vernus - Spring Vetchling
  • Tulipa - Tulip
  • Viola - Violet
  • Polygonatum biflorum - Solomon's Seal
May
  • Muscari - Grape Hyacinth
  • Convallaria majalis - Lily of the Valley
  • Doronicum - Leopard's Bane
  • Allium
  • Hyacinthoides hispanica - wood hyacinth
June
  • Hesperis matronalis - Dame's Rocket
  • Sweet Woodruff
  • Herb Robert
  • Virginia Waterleaf
  • Day Lily
  • Wild Columbine
  • Erythronium - Dogtooth Violet
July
  • Hardy Geranium/Crane's Bill
  • Thalictrum - Wild Meadowrue
  • Cimicifuga
  • Anemone syvestris
August
  • Hosta
  • Wood Aster
  • Gooseneck Loosestrife

Ferns:

  • Maidenhair - Adiantum pedatum
  • Christmas - Polystichum acostichoides
  • Autumn - Dryopteris erythrosora
  • Ostrich - Matteuccia struthiopteris

The Landmark Society has developed a walking tour of the section of Highland Park near the Overlook and Reservoir. You can click on our link to the Landmark Society, and go to Landmark Tours Online-Highland Park Walking Tour.

The Monroe County Parks Department has published the Highland Park Guide, with descriptions of many of the plant collections. You can click on our link to the Parks Department to find the Guide.